How to make the eyes using polymer clay
In our previous article we discussed the ways of making the eyes for your toy.
This article will tell you how to make the eyes using polymer clay like in the picture below
What is polymer clay?
Polymer clay is a modelling material that is supposed to be baked in the oven under a certain temperature. It is composed of polymers, resins, coloring agents and fillers.
Polymer clay is available in a wide range of brands and colors. Each brand has its own characteristics so make sure you read all the instruction carefully before you start. Many crafters like polymer clay for the ease of use and great amount of possibilities it offers. You can make any detail for your toy to make it unique, be it a nose (as in Kerry Blue terrier crochet pattern), or a tongue (as in English spaniel crochet pattern), or eyes (as in Rat Serafima crochet pattern).
Before you start
Please note that polymer clay is very toxic. Thoroughly air the room where you use it. Do not use clay with anything that will prepare or touch food. So utensils that you use to cook should not be used to bake the polymer clay. Keep it away from children. Always follow the instructions for your polymer clay, especially temperature requirements and safety guidelines.
Pros and cons
+ You can make any detail of any shape and any size.
+ There is a great variety of colors.
+ It gets very firm when it is baked.
+ It doesn't require any special equipment.
- Not easy to find in some countries.
- The fumes (while baking) can be toxic.
- It requires an oven.
- You can't fix the shape after it is baked.
Making the eyes
1. The diameter of the eyes depends on the size of the toy. I recommend that you cut two ovals or circles out of white cardboard and try them on the head first. You could also make an outline of the eye with pins and then make a pattern. Correct the cardboard patterns if necessary. Use these patterns when making the eyes.
2. Make two balls using white polymer clay. They don’t have to be of the same size. Sometimes different eyes give your toy a unique facial expression.
3. Carefully press the clay balls against a flat surface to flatten on the back side. DO NOT make them flat on the front side. Carefully try the balls onto the face. If you are satisfied with the size and shape of the pieces, you can try the safety eyes or half beads or beads for the pupil. Slightly press the pupil into the eye.
4. Take the pupil out of the eye carefully. Remove clay from the pupil.
5. Bake all polymer pieces strictly following the instructions of your polymer clay. Let it get cool completely.
6. Glue the pupils into the eyes.
7. Glue the eyes into the eye sockets.
There are a lot of experiments with the polymer clay. For example, our Cockroach crochet pattern gives you the idea how to make the toy look tired and sleepy.
Repeat the steps 1-5 mentioned above. Cover the whites of the eyes with transparent varnish. Apply fibers of red fluffy yarn. Wait until the varnish gets dry. Apply transparent varnish again and let it dry. Glue the pupils (plastic eyes or beads) into the eyes using transparent glue.
Sometimes the shape of the whites of the eyes can completely change the look of your toy.
Shih Tsu puppy dog pattern is an example that illustrates this very well.
1. Choose the eyes’ shape that suits your toy best. It might be best to make a couple of sets of eyes to see which look best for your toy.
2. Take the beads for the eyes and run long black thread through each of them.
3. Take a piece of white polymer сlay and form the white of the eye for one side or both sides of the bead right at the point where the thread comes out of the bead. If you want a round eye shape, then you need to attach small stripes. By experimenting with different placements the dog can look cheerful or sad, thoughtful or dreamy.
If you want to make an almond-eyes dog, then you need to attach little triangles. A dog with eyes of this shape will look sly or playful.
4. Bake the eyes following the instructions for your polymer clay (not longer than 2 minutes).The eyes are ready.
How to attach the eyes made of polymer clay?
There two basic ways to attach the eyes made of polymer clay.
1) to glue using transparent glue
2) to sew (in this case you need to attach a metal loop, an eyehook pin or a eyehook screw at the back of the eye before you bake it).
As you can see, it is no longer a problem if you can’t find suitable eyes for your toy. Try making them yourself and you will be happy with the result. Your softies will look unique and acquire their own character.